This Is The Easiest Headboard DIY (No Joke!)

Tikva Morrow
by Tikva Morrow
5 Materials
2 Hours
Even though I'm truly an amateur DIYer in practice, my brain is always teeming with fun DIY ways to dress up my small city apartment. Skip to last week when I was a week overdue and heavy into nesting, and you can imagine that my DIY inclinations were in full overdrive!
You've heard of sparse, but have you ever seen a bedroom wall quite this Sahara Desert-like?

Without access to tools (and honestly, who was going to let me and my belly near tools?!) but with the NEED for a fun headboard to liven up our empty bedroom wall, I'd been combing Hometalk to find the easiest headboard DIY out there. Eventually, I spotted this little gem using foam core boards, foam, and fabric.
Step 1: Make a foam core board base

I laid out two long boards so that they were just a little bit longer than my bed. I then taped the boards together with several layers of packing tape so that they were nice and secure.
Step 2: Cover boards in foam

You could use a few layers of thick batting or a foam and batting combination depending on how much effort you're putting into your makeshift headboard, but for this round, I decided to use just one layer of inch-thick foam. I found this sheet at the fabric store and it had just enough give to support and cushion my back when I'm sitting up in bed.
I laid the foam on top of my board base and cut the edges so that there was no overhang. If I had been using batting or something a little more flexible, I could have left extra on each side to wrap it around the foam board, but I was going for simple, cheap, and super quick so foam was perfect.
After I had the shape right, I went back around and cleaned up the edges so that they wouldn't look too choppy when I added my fabric. My chubby late-pregnancy fingers were making the cutting job a little difficult, but I got the foam straight-edged enough that fabric would hide any tiny blemishes.
Step 3: Stick your foam to your base

I could have used spray adhesive for this step as well, but because I was looking for the least toxic way to quickly stick my foam to the base, I chose to use 3M double-sided mounting tape.
Just a small square every couple of inches around the edges held the foam in place well enough before I added my fabric.
Pulling the thin red backing off the sticky plastic tape was almost enough to make me go insane, but I REALLY hate that blank white wall, so I kept at it until the foam was completely stuck down.
Step 4: Wrap it all up in fabric

My bedroom has a lot of navy blues, yellows, and golds, so I chose this pretty lightly floral fabric with a similar motif. It also happened to match our plastic spoon chrysanthemum mirror, so I was pretty thrilled to find it.
The first thing you want to do before upholstering anything (even faux upholstering) is iron out the creases. How frustrating would it be to finish your entire headboard and hang it up only to realize there's a very deep, very noticeable crease running right across it?
Once all the wrinkles were straightened out, I laid my foam covered boards foam-side-down on the fabric and cut the ends so that there wasn't too much overhang.
To secure the edges, I thought about using a staple gun, but ultimately decided that the staples might be too deep for the foam board and stick through, which would make bedtime a less than enjoyable experience! To avoid that, I actually went with heavy duty duct tape (eek! I know, but it worked!) to stick down the fabric.

I secured the long sides first, then folded in the edges at each corner and tucked the ends in, sort of like how you'd wrap a gift. A little to my surprise, it worked perfectly!
Once everything was secured in place, I flipped my headboard over to see the finished product before it went up. I really couldn't believe that with so little effort it looked pretty darn good!
Step 5: Hang your headboard

You'll need a partner for this next step so grab a willing husband or, in my case, a caring Mother in Law who is also getting just a bit anxious waiting around for baby to make an appearance.

Together, we measured out the proper height for the headboard and then used 3M velcro strips at each corner (on the fabric and the board itself -- that's important!) to stick the headboard firmly onto the wall. This way, If I get tired of the fabric or change the look of bedroom, I can recover our headboard in something else!
And here it is in place and all hung up! We usually have a few more throw pillows on the bed, so it looks a touch classier, but even with pillows missing, isn't this 10 times better??

I told you it was easy! Maybe now the bedroom is looking a little more welcoming baby will make an appearance, right? Here's hoping!
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  • Edna mocanu Edna mocanu on Mar 24, 2017

    Edna:  Yes , I will do this. How were you hanging it up?

  • Rose New York Rose New York on Feb 10, 2018

    I’d love some of the home talk headboard creators to show how they mounted them to the wall. Thats the most confusing part for me. How do you get it level?

  • Sherry H. Sherry H. on Dec 28, 2019

    I want to try to do this but I'm wondering how I could because part of my wall behind my bed is framed windows one of which has a window AC unit in it??!!

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